My Dearest Hatter

What happens when you lie? You might feel guity for a bit, but you get over it. But sometime it can an impact you can't imagine. One man lied and it Ruined Wonderland.

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6. SIX, Better Not To Linger In The Past

The next 2 hours were spent in relative silence, Dop hung back shoulders slumped and his eyes fixed on the map in front of him. Hatter walked next to Alice and explained to her what she asked about Wonderland. The club families had taken up different roles within the state, the Hearts ran the prisons, one of which had been the one Alice found herself captured. The Diamonds were in charge of the Banks, although not many people had much money and those who did kept it with them hidden in walls or loose floor boards. The Spades were put in charge of rebuilding what had been destroyed in the war and the Clubs ran the housing accommodation for those without homes, this included orphans, families whose home had been destroyed and not yet built and the elderly who had become to much of a burden upon their families. Most citizens of Wonderland focused on their day to day survival, but there was a small group who still looked out for Wonderlands military needs, it was this group of people who were to meet in a few days to discus the impending Nemos attack, this was the groups destination. She also explained how it was that she and Dop seemed to be able to communicate with Rab who hopped a few feet in front of them. The Rabbit was able to send something of a telepathic signal to those who he had been around long enough, the reason Alice had not heard anything was that she had only known him for less than a day. Alice listened intently, eagerly taking in every scrap of information, she was re-learning the existence of her favourite fantasy world that was in fact not fantasy, now that she was over the initial shock she loved it.

 

 

Slowly fields started to give way to building and soon Alice found herself in what looked like any other city estate. Here Hatter explained that they would catch the Capsule Bus straight into the heart of Wonderland. The four of them stood in the bus shelter, a small structure with a roof and one wall made of translucent green plastic, Dop seemed to have cheered up as the distance between them and the Field of Dreams increased, he now sat on the little bench telling Rab a story about the first time he had caught the bus by himself and managed to get off at the wrong stop, there was more to it Alice was sure, but she her attention was taken up by the currency that Hatter had just pulled out of the ribbon that covered the brim of her hat. They were small silver coins, but they were square instead of round and where the queens face would be on a penny there was the face of a clock stuck at 6pm, on the other side was the number 10. Hatter saw her looking and flipped one over to her, Alice caught it and examined it closer.

“They're called Tea's, we only have coins, no notes like your world. They get bigger with each increase in value” to show this Hatter pulled out a 5 which was indeed smaller than the one in her hand. Dop had finished his story and now joined the women in their conversation.

“Nowadays they only go up to 100, but some people say that there were once 1000 coins that were bigger than your head.”

“Yeah, the same people who play football with hedgehogs, they're nutters the lot of them.”

“You just don't like them because they beat you at that football match”

“They did not beat me, they cheated! They put holes in the front of my shoes when I wasn't looking and then when I went to try to kick the ball it's spines went straight into my toes.” She turned to Alice while Dop laughed at her frustration “Never trust the Royals Alice” Dop and Rab got off the bench as the bus approached them, it was an odd contraption, just like a normal bus, but about half the length, double the height and a shocking shade of pink. Alice followed hatter whoo paid the driver and sat at the back. From its height Alice had presumed that this would be a multi-decker bus, but there was only one floor with an extremely high ceiling.

 

 

The bus hurtled through the landscape of buildings that all merged into one until it slowed down at a shelter familiar to one that the group had boarded at. The group departed and stepped out into the centre of Wonderland. It's buildings were a mix of old and modern, spiralling towers of churches and compacted cubes of flats. Some were completed with gaping holes in the side, evidence of the nations fall. Dop lead them through the diverse crowds, Alice saw people with noses too large for their faces, various animals who took on human persona’s, an array of patterned skin and so much more. Yet no-one battered an eyelid, this was the norm for them, but it seemed so fantastical to Alice.

“Don't stare Alice, we can't draw attention to you.”

She was about to ask why when Alice saw a poster on a wall to her left:

 

!!!ESCAPED!!!

A PRISONER FROM THE HEARTS CENTRE FOT TROUBLED CITIZENS HAS ESCAPED

IF SEEN DO NOT APPROACH

PLEASE CONTACT THE NEAREST ARTERIAL OFFICIAL IMMEDIATELY

 

Then there was a picture of her when she was in the cell, hair a mess, jeans and shirt dirty and her face void of any emotion. God, she didn't look like that now did she? Alice snuck a glance in a shop window, well she looked better, but not her best. She felt Hatters hands push into her back.

“You look fine dear, now come on!”

 

 

Finally they reached a big grey building whose sigh post read ~MARCH HARE HOTEL~ and entered. Hatter checked in whilst Alice observed her surroundings, it looked like the hotel had arrived straight from the Victorian era, old painting covered the faded wallpapered walls and all was completed with a thin layer of dust. Soon she was led up the creaking stairs by a short man with a long nose and big ears, his name tag read D. Mouse. Their room was large with three single beds, a bathroom and a small chair in the corner, Dop stood by the window when Alice joined him to look over the slowly emptying streets of the city.

“The meeting starts in an hour in the conference room downstairs, Hatter will help you sort out some different clothes.”

“I'm coming into the meeting, but I don't know the slightest thing about fighting. A boy at school once looked like he was going to punch me for my chewing gum and I ended up giving him the gum, all my colouring pencils, £2 and my shoe! I'm useless in any from of confrontation.”

“Be that as it may we could do with a fresh opinion, plus we've brought you all this way we can hardly just leave you in a hotel room for the rest of your life. Now go find some clothes with Hatter.” Alice sighed, she wasn't going to win this so she walked out the room with Hatter across the street to a little clothing shop. There they picked out a variety of trousers, tops, jumpers, jackets and shoes and moved into the changing room. Alice tried each piece of clothing on and showed Hatter, who each time seemed to be trying in a different hat which Alice hadn't seen her bring in. Hatter told her how her mother used to bring her shopping and from then on the conversation delved into Hatters troubled past.

 

 

She was the daughter of Damonides and Lillean Hatter and twin to Amy Hatter. But when the fighting had started her father had to go fight, this left her mother having to take on another job so she was hardly home, but Hatter had her sister whom she loved with all her heart. “Amy looked like me exactly in appearance, but she was a million times a better person. She was smart, caring, funny. We would talk for hours and hours about absolutely nothing. In school if we had lessons that we didn't like, but the other did then we would swap and nobody would ever know, it was brilliant.” the the light that had built up inside Hatter as she spoke of her sister faded again as she moved onto what had happened next. The other states had started bombing Wonderland and their house had taken the edge of a hit, a fire had started and Hatter was running out holding onto Amy's hand, but when she was outside Amy's hand had somehow gone and she was nowhere to be seen. Then Hatter had hear a scream and tried to run in, but arms held her back, she struggled so much that she passed out and the next thing she remembered was waking up in a Club's house and a woman was telling her how her family was dead and she would have to live here from now on. That was were she had met Dop who had promised to be her big brother and they had made a plan to run away, and so they did never looking back.

 

 

Hatter had entered a sort of trance state whilst she was talking about her past and as she spoke she fiddled with the pendant around her neck, Alice now saw that it was a heart inscribed with the words 'Worlds Best Sister' inscribed on it. Alice was nearly in tears herself, but then Hatter broke her trance and smiled “Anyway, better not to linger in the past. I like that outfit” she pointed to a pair of black skinny trousers, a red vest top and a dark brown leather jacket.

 

 

After buying the clothes and a new short grey top hat for Hatter they walked back over to the hotel and joined Dop and Rab in a card game that was far too complicated for Alice and in the end she simply resorted to throwing cards down and hoping for the best. It seemed to work out quite well and she somehow managed to beat Dop, but Hatter was in a league of her own. Finally it was time for the meeting and they descended the still creaking stairs and headed towards the muffled mumblings of the meeting room.

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